McKendree Senior to Study in Spain on Gilman Scholarship

(LEBANON, Ill., November 23, 2015) - A highly competitive and prestigious national scholarship will enable McKendree University history major Lauren Craft to study in Spain from January to June. She will attend the Universidad de Granada on a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It offers financial assistance to undergraduate students who want to pursue their academic studies abroad. The program reviewed more than 2,900 applications for over 800 awards during the application cycle for the spring 2016 semester.

“I have grown up in a small town in the middle of cornfields and living in Spain for six months will be a drastic change for me,” said the senior from Alhambra, Ill., who will depart on Jan. 3. “I believe this experience will help me in my future career in international relations, where I want to work with refugees around the world. Learning a new language and culture will prepare me to help others.”

Craft, whose minors are global studies and Spanish, said her goals for the semester abroad are “learning the Spanish language, learning more about the diverse culture in Granada, and expanding my worldview.”

She wrote numerous drafts of the essay she submitted to win the Gilman Scholarship. Craft said she is “forever grateful” for the moral support and encouragement she received from McKendree faculty and staff members throughout the application process.

“It has given me an opportunity of a lifetime and I look forward to seeing where it takes me,” she said.